Fishing Tackle Giant denies discrimination claims – Wired2Fish

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Bass Pro Shops denied US Equal Employment allegations

Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that the company discriminated against

African-American and Hispanic candidates in its employment practices and

that he retaliated against employees. The EEOC filed a federal trial on Wednesday claiming that the fishing tackle retail giant discriminated against minority applicants and employees and retaliated against those who spoke out.

“The EEOC’s allegations are contrary to our deep respect for and

commitment to our team of experienced and knowledgeable associates, and

we are determined to prove them wrong,” said Mike Rowland, Vice

President of Human Resources. “Respect for our associates and our customers

is at the heart of our company’s mission, and it has been a key element

contributor to our success.

Bass Pro said it was extremely disappointed with the EEOC’s decision to

take action.

“The company has cooperated with the EEOC throughout its

investigation, providing abundant documentation and many

witnesses,” Rowland said. “Bass Pro strenuously denies the EEOC

allegations that the Company engaged in unlawful destruction of documents.

It is our policy to keep all documents required by law. We provided

more than 250,000 pages of documents to the EEOC.

“Despite our cooperation, the EEOC made unrealistic demands during

conciliation. The EEOC can’t or won’t tell us the basis of the

analysis they claim to have conducted. Fundamental Equity

and good faith should require the EEOC to disclose the evidence upon which

his claims are well-founded before filing a complaint which will be long,

costly and inconvenient.

“This investigation and the conduct of the EEOC demonstrate a troubling

tendency of the EEOC to stereotype those who enjoy outdoor sports and

support conservation as people who unlawfully discriminate or oppose

equal opportunities for all. For example, EEOC staff

investigators have repeatedly suggested that because Bass Pro

sponsors a NASCAR racing team, the company is more likely to discriminate

against minorities.

“Furthermore, EEOC staff raised questions about Bass Pro’s policy

against hiring convicted felons, claiming it discriminates against

some minority groups, although federal regulations prohibit

criminals convicted of handling firearms, and Bass Pro sells firearms,

ammunition and explosives.

“Bass Pro has long been an important supporter of many young

development and conservation programs that provide outdoor opportunities for

diverse downtown youth. As we challenge these baseless injustices

fees, we want to assure the millions of people from all walks of life

lives who visit our stores every year that Bass Pro will continue to

deliver the unique experience they expect. And we will do so while fully respecting the law.


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